Votto to DL, Phillips back
It’s not very stunning that the Reds placed 1B Joey Votto on the 15-day DL, but reason listed was an unexpected twist. His injury has been listed as “stress-related issues,” and not the ongoing inner-ear infection.
The Reds held a closed-door clubhouse meeting after the team bus arrived. Votto is not with the club and it was believed he returned to Cincinnati.
“He’s dealing with a personal issue. He wants us to respect his privacy about that,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
No more details were revealed, at Votto’s request. There was no timetable for a return.
“They weren’t informed about what was wrong,” Baker said of the meeting. “I just told them we have to stick together, even more than ever. Whatever it is, we need to support him. This is like a member of your family. Right now, he needs their support and love and understanding something they might not even understand.”
Apparently, this has less to do with the inner ear infection than originally speculated but again — details are at a minimum.
“It’s partly that. Let’s leave it at that,” general manager Walt Jocketty said. “It’s basically something that Joey needs some time away to deal with. We gave him that time. It’s not a big deal but it’s something that was affecting his ability to play at the level he wants to play at.”
C/IF Wilkin Castillo was recalled from Triple-A Louisville to take Votto’s roster spot. As speculated last night, the Reds don’t have many options on the 40-man roster and since Castillo is primarily a catcher, Ramon Hernandez can move to first base full time. Ryan Hanigan can catch every day and the Reds won’t lose as much offensively in the lineup.
Baker also said that OF Jonny Gomes would start taking groundballs again at first base, where he saw some action at Spring Training. Gomes did not play any at 1B during his time at Louisville.
As Votto exits for a while, 2B Brandon Phillips (fractured right thumb) is back in the starting lineup for the first time in a week. Phillips pinch-hit Friday and bunted into a groundout in the ninth inning.
“One day, we’ll be whole,” Baker said. “These guys have been very resilient. We just have to be more resilient.”
Taveras CF Dickerson CF
CF Willy Taveras was scratched with a sore right hamstring. Taveras slipped on the outfield grass Friday in the sixth inning on Prince Fielder’s long fly ball. Chris Dickerson started in CF and will lead off.
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